Summary: New beginnings are a gift from God, not based on our past actions, but upon His present Character.
STARTING NEW ALL OVER AGAIN
EZEKIEL 36: 16-32
JUNE 9, 2001
INTRODUCTION: In his book Enjoying God, Lloyd Ogilvie writes: One of the most astounding achievements in ophthalmological surgery is the implanting of lens in a human eye. After a friend of mine had this surgery in both eyes, and the bandages were removed, he exclaimed, “How wonderful to have new eyes!…” Our hearts have eyes… Before conversion, our “inner eyes” are clouded over with cataracts blocking our vision. We cannot see ourselves, others, and life in the clear light of truth. Nor can we behold God’s true nature or see the beauty of the world that He’s given us to enjoy. We are spiritually blinded… Conversion begins the healing of our heart-eyes by removing our spiritual cataracts. We understand what the cross means for our forgiveness, but we still do not perceive all that the Lord has planned for us and the power He has offered to us. We need a supernatural lens implant in the eyes or our hearts… Paul calls this lens the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation.”… The Spirit is the lens for the eyes of our hearts.
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this day speaks to us about the struggle of the heart. It also speaks of the One who can do a heart transplant. And, being that we are now in the Season of Pentecost, it also reminds us of the Spirit of God and what the work of the Spirit is all about. I believe it can be summed up in a simple statement: “Starting New all over again!”
THESIS SENTENCE: New beginnings are a gift from God, not based on our past actions, but upon His present Character.
STARTING NEW ALL OVER AGAIN
I. IMPLIES PAST FAILURE
A. Past failure is marked by the defilement of the people of God
1. Ezekiel the prophet reminds the reader just why the people of God are in exile in foreign lands.
2. The key word is Defilement!
3. Defilement is caused by past conduct and actions. This is the key phrase concerning Yahweh’s frustration with His people.
4. Defilement came about because of Idol worship! Defilement came about because of the shedding of blood in the Sacred land in reference to Idolitry!
5. Defilement is specifically about God: The people of Israel had profaned the name of the living God!
6. From verse 20 to verse 23 the prophet reminds the Children of Israel that they had profaned the Great name of God.
7. In four short verses this phrase is repeated 5 times!
8. Do you think the prophet is making a POINT!!
B. Past failure is made evident by the judgment of God (Verses 18 & 19)
1. Because of this past desecration God’s Holy name, God sent His people far from their Promised land.
2. Ezekiel defines the Sovereign Lord’s response as “poured out wrath.” 3. The Sovereign Lord “Dispersed” His people among the nations.
4. The Sovereign Lord Scatter His people through the Countries.
5. The Sovereign Lord Judged His people!
C. Past failure is the common denominator of all of our lives concerning God.
1. Isaiah 53: 6 states, “We all like sheep, have gone astray, eacho of us has turned to his own way;…”
2. Paul states in Romans 3:10ff, “There is no one righteous, no9t even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is on one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”